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6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Human Genetic …

Posted: April 27, 2019 at 3:49 am

Human genetic engineering pertains to the practice of adding new DNAs to a person to give him certain traits that he would not naturally have. Due to its concept, it has gotten much attention lately, making it one of the hottest topics in debates all around the world. Curious of its story? Here are its main advantages and disadvantages:

1. It can eliminate diseases.Though it may seem impossible now, but this technology can take diseases out of the equation. By detecting and removing bad genes inherited from parents, the next generation would be healthier. Any genetic mutations caused by environmental mutagens can be corrected, keeping mutations under control and making the human body less susceptible to infections.

2. It helps the pharmaceutical industry to advance.Aside from paving the way for xenotransplantation or the process of transplanting living tissues or organs through biotechnology, genetic engineering also acts as an aid for genetics, enabling the pharmaceutical industry to develop highly graded products that can help fight health conditions.

3. It has the potential to increase human life span.As human genetic engineering has the potential to make diseases a thing of the past, it can allow for a fuller and healthier life, not to mention a longer life span. As research suggests, it has the ability to increase the life span of humans anywhere between 100 and 150 years by slowing down the aging process through altering the genome of a healthy individual. This technology also pinpoints desirable traits of a certain person and then integrated them to others DNA.

1. It is surrounded with moral issues.The initial reaction of people to the practice of genetic engineering is whether it is morally right or not. As many people religiously believe in God, they see the technology as playing God, and expressly forbid it to be performed on their on their children. Aside from the religious arguments, there are also ethical objections, where opponents believe that diseases exist for a reason. While many of these conditions are to be dealt with, illnesses are generally needed, or else we would soon face the problem of overpopulation.

2. It can limit genetic diversity.Diversity is very important in all species of animals and the ecosystem, and human genetic engineering will a detrimental effect on peoples genetic diversity.

3. It poses possible irreversible effects and consequences.Even among scientists and researchers, genetic engineering is believed to have irreversible side effects, especially in the aspect of hereditarily modified genes. As you can see, the process involves the use of viral factors to carry functional genes to the human body, and naturally, these viral genes will likely leave certain side effects. Moreover, placing functional genes in the genome still does not present definite effects, which means that they can replace other important genes, rather than the mutated ones, causing other forms of health conditions to develop.

Genetic engineering is one of the most controversial topics of today, and keeping yourself informed about all its aspects can help you form a well-informed opinion on the matter.

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6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Human Genetic ...

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Why Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19 and For the People Aren’t …

Posted: April 27, 2019 at 3:48 am

Now PlayingCan the Grey's Anatomy cast read medical jargon?

Okay TGIT fans, there's some good news and some bad news this evening. We'll go ahead and rip off the Band-Aid: Grey's Anatomy and the rest of the TGIT line-up are not airing tonight, Thursday, April 25.

Instead, ABC is hosting the NFL Draft, which is great news for sports fans. It's a little puzzling that the draft is being hosted on ABC, the only one of the big four without an NFL package throughout the regular season (though ABC's parent company also owns ESPN, so sports ball does run in the family). The broadcast will also feature a special appearance from Taylor Swift, who will be dropping another clue about her new music expected to release on Friday, April 26.

NFL Draft 2019 Latest News and Predictions

The good news is that Grey's and TGIT will return next week. In fact, Grey's and Station 19 will kick things off with a two-hour crossover special centering on trying to save Chief Ripley (Brett Tucker), who collapsed at the end of last week's Station 19. Grey's will also have to contend with Jo's (Camilla Luddington) continuing downward spiral. Meanwhile on For the People, Allison (Jasmin Savoy Brown) will get her first big episode of the season when she defends a man accused of selling fake cigarettes.

So just hang tight. One more week until your favorite shows are back!

Grey's Anatomy, Station 19, and For the People all return Thursday, May 2 beginning at 8/7c on ABC.

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Why Grey's Anatomy, Station 19 and For the People Aren't ...

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How does gene therapy work? – Genetics Home Reference – NIH

Posted: April 27, 2019 at 3:46 am

Gene therapy is designed to introduce genetic material into cells to compensate for abnormal genes or to make a beneficial protein. If a mutated gene causes a necessary protein to be faulty or missing, gene therapy may be able to introduce a normal copy of the gene to restore the function of the protein.

A gene that is inserted directly into a cell usually does not function. Instead, a carrier called a vector is genetically engineered to deliver the gene. Certain viruses are often used as vectors because they can deliver the new gene by infecting the cell. The viruses are modified so they can't cause disease when used in people. Some types of virus, such as retroviruses, integrate their genetic material (including the new gene) into a chromosome in the human cell. Other viruses, such as adenoviruses, introduce their DNA into the nucleus of the cell, but the DNA is not integrated into a chromosome.

The vector can be injected or given intravenously (by IV) directly into a specific tissue in the body, where it is taken up by individual cells. Alternately, a sample of the patient's cells can be removed and exposed to the vector in a laboratory setting. The cells containing the vector are then returned to the patient. If the treatment is successful, the new gene delivered by the vector will make a functioning protein.

Researchers must overcome many technical challenges before gene therapy will be a practical approach to treating disease. For example, scientists must find better ways to deliver genes and target them to particular cells. They must also ensure that new genes are precisely controlled by the body.

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How does gene therapy work? - Genetics Home Reference - NIH

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

What Is Regenerative Medicine? – Pain Doctor

Posted: April 25, 2019 at 7:50 pm

One of the most promising and rapidly developing areas in the treatment of pain is regenerative medicine. These treatments helpthe body heal or rebuild itself. While, the body can naturally heal many types of injuries, newer techniques, such as stem cell therapy, may enhance the bodys ability to heal. But, what is regenerative medicine and how does it work?

Regenerative medicine uses cutting-edge therapies to help the body replace, re-engineer, or regenerate human cells, tissues, or organs that were damaged or injured. The most common applications of regenerative medicine are in new organ growth orrepair and cellular therapies. These both use a patients own cells to stimulate repair tissue and improve function.

The AABB reports that up to one in three people in the U.S. could benefit from regenerative medicine.

Patients with osteoarthritis of the hips and knees can use PRP therapies to stimulate the bodys own healing processes and reduce inflammation. Stem cell therapy could be used to revitalize worn-out intervertebral discs.In the very near future, patients could benefit from lab-grown bladder or heart transplants. These transplants would be derived from the patients very own cells to reduce the risk of transplant rejection or infection.

Regenerative medicine began when the first bone marrow and solid organ transplants were done decades ago. The first successful kidney transplant was in 1954. Successful liver, pancreas, and heart transplants took place in the 60s. From this perspective, regenerative medicine is a fairly established medical practice.

From there, regenerative medicine arose as atruly a cross-disciplinary approach to healthcare. As UPMC notes:

Regenerative medicine is a new field that brings together experts in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, genetics, medicine, robotics, and other fields to find solutions to some of the most challenging medical problems faced by humankind.

In the following TED talk, Alan Russell talks a bit aboutthe history of regenerative medicine andwhy so many healthcare professionals are excited about its potential uses.

There are three main types of regenerative therapy, as ARMI explains:

While scientists are working on new types of regenerative medicine that can actually create new body parts from a patients own cells and tissues, this research is still in its infancy. Regenerative medicine for self-repair and cellular therapy, however, is performed on patients today.

Regenerative cellular and self-repair therapies use the following processes:

When an embryo is developing in the womb, it starts out as a mass of stem cells. As the embryo grows, the stem cells multiply and become the specialized cells that make up a body.

Stem cells are body cells that have the potential to become the cells for many types of bodily tissues. Human embryos are a widely recognized and controversial source of stem cells, but stem cells can also be found in the body tissues of adults, such as bone marrow and blood as well as placental tissue. Other adult cells (e.g., skin cells) can be modified through the injection of specific genes or molecules to become stem cells. The various sources of stem cells often have different properties. They are generally capable of becoming some, but not all, types of cells.

Various treatments that involve the extraction of stem cells and their injection into damaged tissues have been developed. Some of these treatments involve taking a persons own stem cells and injecting them into a site of injury. Other treatments rely on stem cells from adult donors. Bone marrow is perhaps the most commonly-accessed source of adult stem cells for regenerative therapies. However, harvesting stem cells from bone marrow is still a surgical procedure requiring anesthesia or sedation.

Though medical research on these treatments is progressing, stem cell treatments are generally considered experimental. They are only approved in the United States as a part of clinical trials. These treatments hold great promise because they may be able to treat certain conditions, such as discogenic back pain, that are difficult to effectively relieve with other methods.

This video from Mayo Clinic gives a quick primer on stem cells.

Another regenerative medicine treatmentis called platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This technique was developed in the 1970s and has been adopted in a variety of medical practices, such as orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery and sports medicine. This treatment gained wider recognition after a number of professional athletes were reported to use it to aid in their recoveries.

PRP therapy involves drawing a small volume of blood from the patient and spinning this blood in a centrifuge. This separates the blood into different layers, each containing concentrated amounts of the substances naturally found in blood: serum in the top layer, white blood cells and platelets in the middle layer, and red blood cells in the bottom layer.

The middle layer, known as PRP concentrate, is then separated from the rest of the blood. This PRP concentrate contains three to five times the normal concentration of the platelets and growth factors that are used in the bodys own healing process. This PRP concentrate is then injected back into the patients body at the site of their injury, for example, into the site of an injured tendon or ligament. This process is then repeated over the course of weeks with additional PRP concentrate being drawn and injected each time.

The platelets injected release hundreds of different proteins involved in the regeneration of tissues. Though research on this treatment continues, the existing research has shown increased healing of several different types of body tissues. Because the patient is injected only with concentrate from their own blood, PRP therapy avoids safety issues of ensuring donor compatibility when using blood and tissue donation.

A pain doctor from Arizona explains how platelet-rich plasma therapy works. You can also find out more about PRP therapy in our posts on the subject.

The process for acquiring the cells for regenerative therapy is different for each type, but the application of the therapy is a simple, straight-forward process no matter the cell type.

The acquisition of adult stem cells typically requires surgery. Amniotic cells come from the amniotic membrane of the placenta, so a placenta is required. This can be a patients own placenta thats been saved, or it can be from a family member. Immediate family members are more likely to be a close-enough match to ensure the cells wont be rejected.

Platelet-rich plasma requires a blood draw. A patients blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets. The concentrated platelets are combined with residual blood, and the resultant compound is injected into the painful location on the body. From beginning to end, the process of drawing and preparing the blood and injecting the platelet-rich plasma takes between one and two hours.

After the regenerative cells have been injected, the patient is usually able to go home immediately. While physicians often suggest avoiding any strenuous activity for a few days, its possible to go back to regular day-to-day activities right away. Some irritation, soreness, bruising, or other minor discomforts might be present for a few days, but generally there are few side effects of regenerative therapy.

The injected regenerative cells should stimulate the healing and the growth of new tissue. For instance, in degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, this may mean the growth of new cartilage around joints. With torn muscles or ligaments, regenerative therapy should support the growth of new tissues to heal the injury.

Chronic pain is often the after-effect of degeneration, injury, or illness. Part of the body is left damaged somehow, and that damage causes pain. Most pain therapies concentrate on controlling the pain with medications, injections, or devices that block pain signals in one way or another.

Regenerative therapies are well-suited to treating musculoskeletal pain, or pain thats caused by something in the muscles or bones. Conditions that can respond well to regenerative therapies include:

Compared to other chronic pain therapies, regenerativemedicine has an extremely low risk of side effects.

Regenerative therapies typically involve nothing more than an injection to the painful area of the body, making them very safe. Because the injected compound, whether its stem cells, amniotic cells, or platelet-rich plasma, is usually from the patients own body to begin with, theres almost no risk of infection.

Additionally, one of the biggest risks in the transplant of biological materials, such as organ transplants, is rejection. This is when the body realizes that the transplanted material is foreign and attacks it. However, since the cells used in regenerative therapy are the patients own natural cells, there is no chance at all of rejection.

Stem cell therapy utilizing adult stem cells from the bone marrow is the exception. The harvesting process requires a surgical procedure, which carries the same risks as any other surgery. If, however, the procured stem cells are used on the same person theyre from, this still has the benefit of being extremely low-risk for infection, with no risk of rejection.

It often takes at least two weeks to notice any difference in pain after regenerative therapy, although in some people it may take even longer. In some cases, there may be no discernable pain reduction after regenerative therapy. However, because of its low risk of side effects, it may still be worth discussing this treatment option with a physician.

Regenerative medicine is already available today, in many different applications. According to the NIH:

Naturealso keeps a running list of the scholarly articles about current regenerative medicine research and trials.

As to wide-spread availability of these therapies, that depends. Since stem cell and regenerative medicine is still in its infancy, many insurance providers dont cover the cost of these procedures. That means many procedures are paid out of pocket. You may find discounted optionsby reaching out to pain clinics and independent medical groups who are performing their own studies and patient trials onregenerative medicine.

Once there is more solid research backing these procedures, regenerative medicine should become more easily available and cost-effective for all patients.

From made-to-order organs to smart biomaterials that could help form functional tissues, the possibilities and future of regenerative medicine is endless. The NIH notes:

Imagine a world where there is no donor organ shortage, where victims of spinal cord injuries can walk, and where weakened hearts are replaced. This is the long-term promise of regenerative medicine, a rapidly developing field with the potential to transform the treatment of human disease through the development of innovative new therapies that offer a faster, more complete recovery with significantly fewer side effects or risk of complications.

Organizationslike the Stanford Medicine Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and Mayo Clinics Center for Regenerative Medicine areat the forefront of researching new applications for regenerative medicine.

Many healthcare researchers today are grappling with the questions of what is regenerative medicine and what potential uses it can have for patients. To learn more about the future of regenerative medicine, check out the following articles:

Regenerative medicine clinics can be found in larger medical institutions like Mayo Clinic or Stanford Medicine, however there are also local doctors in your area who are running stem cell and regenerative medicine trials for their patients. Pain clinics, in particular, are offering regenerative therapies for conditions like arthritis and back pain.

You can find a pain clinic in your area by clicking the button below. The clinicsServices page will list which regenerative therapies they offer. Or, you can call their office and ask.

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What Is Regenerative Medicine? - Pain Doctor

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

About the Center – Stanford Center on Longevity

Posted: April 23, 2019 at 7:47 am

Life expectancy is ballooning just as science and technology are on the cusp of solving many of the practical problems of aging. What if we could not only have added years but spend them being physically fit, mentally sharp, functionally independent, and financially secure? At that point, we no longer have a story about old age. We have a story about long life.- Laura L. Carstensen, A Long Bright Future

In less than one century, life expectancy has increased by an average of 30 years in developed regions of the world. Quite suddenly, there are more people living longer in the world than ever before in human history and they are accounting for an increasingly greater percentage of the world population. Improved longevity is, at once, among the most remarkable achievements in all of human history and one of our greatest challenges. These added years can be a gift or a burden to humanity depending upon how they are used.

The mission of the Stanford Center on Longevity is to redesign long life. The Center studies the nature and development of the human life span, looking for innovative ways to use science and technology to solve the problems of people over 50 by improving the well-being of people of all ages.

Meeting these challenges includes changing our public policies as well as personal behavior. Redesigning long life means appreciating the unique challenges of aging, as well as the great value older people contribute to a society.

The Center aims to use increased life expectancy to bring about profound advances in the quality of life from early childhood to old age. To inspire change of this scale, the Center works with academic experts, business leaders and policy makers to target important challenges and opportunities for aging societies. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among these typically disconnected worlds, the Center aims to develop workable solutions to urgent issues confronting the world as the population ages.

Over 140 Stanford faculty members are Center affiliates. Their research foci include a broad range of topics, including behavioral economics and decision making, age-related changes in cognition, assistive robotics, the potential of stem cells, and technology developments that reduce cost and improve healthcare delivery.

The Center was founded by two of the worlds leading authorities on longevity and aging. Laura Carstensen PhD, is the founding director. A professor of psychology at Stanford, she has won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her research has been supported for more than 20 years by the National Institute on Aging. Thomas Rando MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences, is deputy director. His research on aging has demonstrated that is possible to identify biochemical stimuli that can induce stem cells in old tissues to repair injuries as effectively as in young tissues. This work has broad implications for the fields of regenerative medicine and stem cell transplantation.

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About the Center - Stanford Center on Longevity

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Department of Bioengineering – University of Texas at Dallas

Posted: April 22, 2019 at 4:49 am

Bioengineer Recognized Among Top in His Field with AIMBE Honor

Dr. Baowei Fei has been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, an honor that represents the top 2 percent of individuals in medical and biological engineering.

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Dr. Kenneth Hoyt recently received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study three-dimensional super-resolution ultrasound imaging (3D SR-US) for breast cancer.

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Bioengineers have created a first-of-its-kind sensor for real-time measurements of carbon dioxide and relative humidity using a technique conceived while washing dishes.

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Dr. Robert Gregg and Dr. Nicholas Fey recently secured funding from the National Institutes of Health to research the clinical application of variable-activity powered prosthetic legs for five years.

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Greggs Locomotor Control Systems Laboratory explores various innovations that assist individuals with mobility including lower-limb exoskeletons.

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We actively pursue research that leads to tech and knowledge transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Bioengineering Department at UT Dallas offers an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering and graduate degrees in biomedical engineering as part of collaboration with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

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With access to advanced technology, highly trained engineers, and clinicians and practitioners in the field; we provide a unique environment that cultivates creativity. Learn More

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The $108 million, 220,000-square-foot Bioengineering and Sciences Building recently opened and houses state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for conducting cutting-edge research. Learn More

Our bioengineers work at the intersection of engineering and the life sciences, developing new technologies that improve peoples health and well-being. Learn More

We have incorporated hands-on learning opportunities into our curriculum. Each semester, students are presented with engineering problems and are given the training and guidance needed to create highly technical solutions to these problems. Students are trained on the use of advanced bench top engineering equipment from network analyzers, digital oscilloscopes, and function generators so they can design, test and build medical devices.

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We are offering four biomedical engineering courses in Summer 2019. Please register for courses as soon as possible.

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